Dean Tech hosted on October 14th its annual Black and Gold Night, an open house for parents to learn more about the school. Unlike typical open houses where parents follow their child’s class schedule and walk the halls of the school to get an idea of a typical school day in their child’s life, parents at Dean gathered in the cafeteria to see a trade show set-up with tables for Dean Tech’s departments and after school clubs. Girls, Inc., Holyoke Community College, Enlace de Familias, and other key community partners of Dean also had tables set up in the cafeteria, providing information for parents and students on how to get involved with the school’s partners.
“We’re looking for every opportunity we can to engage the community in different ways and make the school welcoming for others,” shared Barry Bacom, principal of Dean Tech. “We want to show off the cool things we have going on here, and that’s why we don’t host a typical open house for parents.”
The music department provided a soundtrack for the night with musicians performing in the cafeteria, and faculty and students from the culinary department made mini paninis for the parents to snack on as they picked up student schedules and scavenger hunt lists. The hunt led parents to classrooms, the library, computer centers, and other labs throughout Dean. When the parents entered each room, there were activities to complete and when they were done, teachers checked off their scavenger hunt lists and gave the parents raffle tickets to bring back to the cafeteria for the end of the night.
John Sheedy, Dean’s Machine Technology instructor, set up a 3-D printer in front of the shop area to demonstrate to parents the works that students have been doing this year. The printer made samples for family members and friends to take home while they looked at other projects students completed earlier in the school year. When parents and friends entered the shop, they were given a live demonstration of students operating manual lathes and mills just as they would in class. Sheedy set up another display in the cafeteria, providing samples of student work, text books, and two displays of previous field trips and summer projects.
The night concluded with cookies and brownies made by the culinary staff, and raffle prizes, mainly Dean Tech polo shirts, were handed out to the parents.